Man fired from store after his paint-mixing TikToks go viral

A student at Ohio University who worked part-time at a Sherwin-Williams store was fired after the company found his paint-mixing TikTok @tonesterpaints.

Tony Piloseno, whose account has more than 1.4 million followers, told BuzzFeed News that he had been encouraging the company to market its brand to a younger audience on social media.

Instead of heeding his advice, company personnel at Sherwin-Williams investigated his account and fired him for making videos with company equipment “during [his] working hours.”

According to paperwork provided to BuzzFeed News, Piloseno was accused of “gross misconduct,” including “wasting properties” and “seriously embarrass[ing] the company or its products.” A company spokesperson told the outlet a “customer complaint” about the TikTok videos led to the termination of his employment.

Piloseno told BuzzFeed News that he admitted to filming videos while mixing paints for customers when he started his account in December 2019. From there, he began purchasing cans of paint with his employee discount — but he was accused of stealing.

“They made me answer a bunch of questions like when I was doing this, where, if there was anyone in the store while I was [filming]. There was never anyone with me while I doing it,” he said.

He had been an employee at the Athens, Ohio, Sherwin-Williams store for three years as a senior sales associate when he stared sharing videos. His sixth-ever video went viral with a million views.

@tonesterpaints

Mixing the most expensive door paint in the world 😳 following back whoever follows my IG!! #asmr #paint #randomthings #earthday #paintmixing

♬ original sound – Tone

“I loved the job immediately,” he told BuzzFeed News. “I love how colors blend together, what goes with what … It’s hard to explain, but I really enjoy mixing paint. I like showing what stuff it can do.”

In the spring of 2020, Piloseno started thinking about how his TikTok content could be a marketing opportunity for the company. He said he pitched the idea to his manager and a sales rep at his local store and was given contact information for the marketing department at the company’s headquarters.

Two months later, he got a response.

“He basically told me that there wasn’t really any promotions going on so there wasn’t a need to see the presentation,” Piloseno said.

A month after that, though, he got a call from the “loss prevention” department about his account. The pitch plus a number of calls the company received about experimental paint mixing inspired by his videos had the brand on edge.

In July, he was fired.

He shared the news with his followers.

The company responded to BuzzFeed News’ original article with a statement.

“While we don’t discuss the details of employee matters publicly, what I can tell you is that we were made aware of the TikTok videos produced by Anthony Piloseno through a customer complaint,” said Julie Young, the vice president of global corporate communications. “We take all complaints seriously and thoroughly investigated the customer’s concerns. Following the investigation, Mr. Piloseno was let go in July 2020 due to multiple company policy violations.”

Piloseno has continued to make paint-mixing TikToks in his friend’s basement.

@tonesterpaints

Reply to @chriscj98 I think It looks cool in my opinion!! #tabletop #painting #colors #HolidaysOurWay #skybox

♬ SKYBOX – Gunna

Commenters showed their support on many of his posts.

“Sherwin-Williams has no clue what they lost,” one wrote.

“You deserved so much better king keep it up,” another said.

“Don’t be shy, start your own paint company,” a third replied.

If you enjoyed this story, read more about tombstone TikTok.

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